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Oil painting

Alan McNiel

About The Artist

One morning in first grade I was looking at a nice turquoise crayon, and realized something about how color connects with my experience of joy. Art was a bright spot in my life, and I started to wonder if someday a career in the arts might be possible.


I kept this to myself until college, believing others would think it unrealistic. On the first day of freshman year I enrolled in art courses, and graduated with degrees in art from Colorado State University and the University of Montana.


After college I worked for several years as a potter, making wood-fired porcelain vessels. I was also painting and drawing, but focused mostly on ceramics. Then, in 1995 I entered one of my paintings in a poster/print competition. The success of that image encouraged me to continue, and I soon found myself painting full-time.


Painting is uplifting for me. I still love turquoise crayons, the practice of painting, and the experience of looking at art, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to share this with others.


The Balance Series was a surprise. One day I knew it was time to paint a balance beam, with a bird on one side and a pear on the other.

After painting a few of these the idea started to expand - with birds still after the pear, but now trying to lift it with strings and various gizmos. These remind me of the IQ puzzles for birds, and how quickly they solve them.


Today I’m nearing completion of a new variation, this time with a tree full of song-birds.

Save Your Spot

  • Feb 29, 2024, 10:00 AM – Mar 03, 2024, 5:00 PM
    La Quinta Civic Center, 78495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta, CA 92253, USA
    Jury-selected, world-class artists from across the nation and globe exhibiting their original artworks. Stunning La Quinta Civic Center venue, enthusiastic art patrons, best in class artists, unsurpassed community support and event staff who are committed to providing a VIP experience.
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